The Bruins thought they’d scored a nice power play goal from a point blast by Torey Krug. Big Zdeno Chara was in front, screening goaltender Jimmy Howard. He was careful to position his 6’9″, 255-lb. frame at the top of the crease to avoid interfering with the Detroit netminder.
That is, until Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Kronwall cross-checked him into the crease. Big Z’s momentum carried him through, his skate clipping Howard’s stick.
Moments later, the shot whizzed past Howard’s left shoulder and into the net. Referee Chris Rooney immediately waved the goal off.
Torey Krug looks like he had PP goal on point bomb deflected on way to net. Refs waved off goal due to interference. Awful call #BruinsTalk
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 3, 2014
Krug's drive from point gets past Howard but it's waved off as Referee Rooney disallows goal for goaltender interference by Chara.
— Shawn Hutcheon (@ShawnHutcheon) April 3, 2014
Krug shot and I don't think Chara was interfering at all. That's a skate in the crease but no interference. LUCK IS GOOD.
— George Malik (@georgemalik) April 3, 2014
Here’s the full play:
It’s pretty clear that Niklas Kronwall shoved Chara. It’s unreasonable to expect him to be able to get his skate out of the way so as to avoid contact with Howard’s stick. Further, Howard had a moment to reset before the shot came in. This looks like a good hockey goal.
Here’s the NHL rule:
Rule 69.1 Interference on the Goalkeeper
Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal.
The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgement of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review.
If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
That last paragraph seems to clearly indicate that the goal should’ve counted. The video replay team in the NHL’s Situation Room would have seen that. Right now, though, goaltender interference is not eligible for review. It’s the referee’s call. In this case, it was the wrong one.
Of course, there’s always one guys who just has to disagree. That man is Mike Milbury: